Alex Troncoso

25 September 2012 — According to Little Creatures Brewery’s Alex Troncoso using cogeneration for its Geelong operation, due to open mid next year, seemed a natural fit.

The company, an icon in Fremantle, and with its Melbourne Dining Hall in Fitzroy, Victoria, had “wanted to do something special for this project”, Troncoso said.

“In particular (we wanted to) implement an environmental technology that would be a step change for us,” he said.

“Cogeneration seemed to be a natural fit as breweries have a high thermal energy demand – we knew that we could use the waste heat effectively for a number of applications.”

The installation of the cogeneration system will provide a large portion of the brewery’s electricity demands and will use the waste heat generated by the engines to provide hot water for the numerous process heating applications.

Simons Green Energy was awarded the contract to supply and install 1200 kiloWatt natural gas fired cogeneration.

It’s another win for the company, which in June this year won the contract to supply and install a 70 kiloWatt cogeneration unit at Rydges Sydney Airport.

  • See our  article  Simons wins cogen contract for Rydges _

Design of the cogeneration plant is for two off-sized units, allowing for greater modulation of output. They consist of an 800 kWe and 400 kWe system, with the reciprocating gas engines supplied by MWM Energy Australia.

The brewery will also consist of other energy efficient equipment such as energy recovery systems in the brewhouse, as well as extensive use of automation for the cleaning regimes and variable speed drives on motors throughout the process.

Simons Green Energy chief executive officer Derek Simons said the cogeneration system would be a great platform for other breweries and food and beverage manufacturers to follow.

“The system is technologically advanced and very efficient at about 85 per cent conversion efficiency compared with 30 per cent efficiency for conventional grid-supplied electricity.

“With escalating electricity prices and the pending introduction of a carbon price, the future savings will be substantial.”

Mr Simons said businesses keen to pursue the technology could be eligible to apply for a government grant under the current AusIndustry “Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program”.